Ladies Day At The Gerry Weber Open - UBITENNIS
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Ladies Day At The Gerry Weber Open



Dominic Thiem (

By Cheryl Jones
Wednesday was Ladies Day at the Gerry Weber Open. Between matches, it means that the lines in the women’s loo are long, though. The honored fans wait each year for that special day and the air is bursting with anticipation, tinged with perfume and most of all, excitement.
For the players, the day is merely another day in the life of a professional tennis player. There was no Roger Federer today. He has been the headliner at Halle since his first win in 2003. Federer won yesterday when his original opponent, Yen-Hsun Lu, withdrew and a Lucky Loser, Yuichi Sugita, filled in. (He wasn’t so lucky after the Maestro from Switzerland moved on to the next round, 6-3, 6-1, but at least he will have the memory of facing Federer, the eight time winner in Halle.) The first match of the Ladies Day extravaganza seemed as if it would offer a glimpse of two well-matched players, but alas, it was business as usual for Bernard Tomic, the Australian who has so much promise.
Today he tended to be on the nonchalant end of his wavering personality. Opposite him was thirty-one year old Richard Gasquet, who is one of the trio of French players who are either on the brink of or who have already turned thirty-one. (The other members of that trio are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils. Gasquet defeated Monfils earlier this week, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.) The twenty-four year old Tomic has one of the most seesawing games in tennis today. One minute his shot-making skills are admirable, the next he seems sluggish and complacent. He has been on the hot seat more than once with his devil may care attitude. And judging from his father’s similar interface with the world in general, let alone tennis, chances are he will continue to ruffle feathers (or should that be fuzzy yellow tennis balls). Gasquet seemed not to notice the erratic nature of Tomic’s performance and merely played tennis. The Frenchman is very good at the game and even though most of today’s players tend to bang the ball from baseline to baseline, Gasquet, a right-hander, is fluid and classy on the court. He has a beautiful one-handed backhand that helps his game at just the right moments. His serve is a bit on the iffy side if speed is what one desires; but it works just fine, thank you. Tomic left the court much as he came – head down, shoulders carefully straightened and absolutely no eye contact with the crowd. Gasquet will move on to the next round.
Roberto Bautista Agut and Dustin Brown were next up on Center Court. Their match was a pleasure to watch, not because either one of them is the kind of smooth player that Gasquet has proven himself to be, but because it was tennis at its finest; both men playing every point to the very best of their ability. Brown is from Germany, and was given a wild card into the GWO. He is a fascinating person to observe. He has a full head of hair that surely reaches past his waist and is dread locked. I always wonder if there is so much hair that it hinders his movement, but, he and Bautista Agut gave all the ladies in attendance a wonderful match that was undecided until the last ball was struck. Bautista Agut got the win, with the score 6-4, 1-6, 7-6.
 There are usually four matches on Center Court, and next up was German Philipp Kohlschreiber, a former winner at the Gerry Weber Open. He had a bit of trouble with his opponent, Alexander Zverev, the twenty year-old German whiz kid who has taken the tennis world by storm and is now ranked No. 12, and that’s with a group of much more experienced players. He took away Kohlschreiber’s chances of duplicating his 2011 championship here. Alexander Zverev wasted not a stroke when he moved to the next round where he will face Bautista Agut.

The night matches begin at 5:30 p.m. Dominic Thiem and Robin Haase provided the londay of tennis with a dessert that should have pleased everyone. Haase is thirty and is from The Netherlands. He has spent the last seven seasons in the top 100. He just keeps working and working, and traveling to compete because he loves tennis. Today’s match gave him a hard fought win over a younger, more highly ranked player, Austrian, Dominic Thiem. The final score belied the closeness of the entire match, 6-3, 7-6. He will play Gasquet in his next endeavor that is sure to offer top-notch tennis.


All in all, it was a great day for tennis. The women enjoyed their special day in the sun and the beautiful venue. They will likely have plenty of “Did you see that?” moments thenext time they gather with their friends for tennis or coffee. It doesn’t have to be ladies day in Halle at the GWO because tennis is the only thing on the menu and everyone here surely agrees that is the way it’s served the best.

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

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Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev

Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.



(@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

A star had to fall. There was no other way.


This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.

The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.

So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.

And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.


The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.

Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.

Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.

Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.


The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.

Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.

But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.

Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.

Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.

Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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